Crawford County man charged after trying to watch Gray police Officer conduct traffic stop on daughter
A Crawford County man was arrested Sunday and charged with obstruction for trying to watch a Gray police officer perform a traffic stop on the man's 21-year-old daughter.
Forty-five-year-old James Williams says his family was driving in two separate cars returning from a funeral. Williams and his wife were driving in the lead car, their daughter, and three other children, all minors were following.
As the family drove through Gray, Williams says a police cruiser started closely following his daughter's car then pulled her over. His daughter pulled into the Old Clinton Gas Station on Gray Highway, and Williams says he followed, not wanting his children driving alone in unfamiliar territory.
According to a police incident report officer Jacob Hunnicutt saw the daughter's car cross the white divider line several times. Hunnicutt pulled the car over for failure to maintain lane, at the same time he saw Williams' truck pull to the left side of him.
The officer says Williams got out of the truck, stood beside it and started staring in an aggressive manner.
Williams says he was more than 50 feet away from the officer, and was just watching and wondering what was going on.
"I was wondering why he pulled them over, and like I said, I stood beside the truck, just to see what was going on, you know, I didn't approach him, I didn't say anything to him until he spoke to me," Williams said.
The officer reported that due to the way Williams pulled into the gas station and exited his vehicle, the officer did not feel safe performing the traffic stop. The report states that if the officer continued with the stop he would have to turn his back to Williams, and he was unsure of Williams intentions.
At that point the report says the officer advised Williams that everything was fine, and that he could wait down the road. The report says Williams told the officer he was the driver's father and he was not going to leave his children.
The report says the officer asked Williams to leave three more times before arresting him.
Williams says the officer never gave him the choice to wait for his children somewhere else.
"All he did was tell me when I got out, get in my truck and leave, you know, I told him that's my daughter, I'm not going to leave, and he kept saying get in your truck and leave, and I said those are my children I'm not going to leave them and he came over there asked for my ID, escorted me back to his car and locked me up," Williams said.
Williams was charged with obstruction and given $1,600 bail. He plans to fight the charges, because he doesn't think he did anything wrong.
"It's something that I never wanted them to see, but you know I would do it all again for my children," Williams said.
The Gray Police Department says Officer Jacob Hunnicutt has been serving on the force since 2006 and has had no previous or pending disciplinary action against him.
Williams says he plans to file a complaint.
Chief Adam Lowe says says he will not comment on the incident because the case is still pending at the Distract Attorney's Office, but a release says that a preliminary investigation reveals the officer acted in accordance with departmental policy.
Williams' daughter was given a verbal warning for failure to maintain lane.